THE partnership between the government and the private sector in the past decade has brought about economic reforms, reinforcing leadership ethics and investing in human development.
The observation was made by the Minister of State in the President’s Office in-charge of Investment, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, when speaking at a Roundtable of Tanzania Chief Executive Officers in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.
He said the government was committed to promoting the private sector for all citizens to enjoy the economic growth. He said teamwork saw the country crossing the threshold into lower middle income status, well ahead of 2025, the year that had been anticipated.
Equally, the projection is for the nation to maintain and grow this status as envisioned in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025. In Tanzania’s Five-Year Development Plan that was recently approved by Parliament, the private sector has been put at the centre of the economic agenda.
Prof Mkumbo said the private sector is also tasked with driving and managing increased growth as the country builds on its middle income status.
As a policy dialogue forum bringing together the CEOs of leading companies in Tanzania, it fosters close cooperation between the public and private sectors with the view of accelerating expansion and growth of the country’s economy in a sustainable manner.
According to Prof Mkumbo, the CEOs meeting regularly facilitates dialogue between the sectors as outlined in priorities in increasing local and foreign direct investment.
He cited the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and revising the Investment Act that plays a bigger role across multiple industries, including channeling any challenges of potential investors to the relevant sectors for resolution.
“There will also be a round of engagement for stakeholders to review the Investment Act before it is presented to the Parliament. The Ministry is also looking into working closely with the private sector to develop an Investment Promotion Strategy that shares success stories far and wide.
“Tanzania has a lot of potential but is yet to fully market itself, and this strategy would help address that. To support facilitation of the Investment Promotion Strategy, there is a National Investment Guide that highlights investment potentials in different sectors and regions.
“To maximize possibilities of success, the ministry will be introducing targeted investment to align investors with their areas of expertise and there is also a need to identify potential investors beyond Tanzania (the diaspora) to take on these opportunities.
“Also in the plans there is a private sector investment policy that eases confidence and trust between the Public and Private Sectors, because sustainable engagement with investors is the key,” pointed out Prof Mkumbo.
Addressing questions from the members, the minister also emphasized his commitment to ensuring he remains accessible to investors to resolve any strategic issues that may arise.
He said the ministry will also involve the private sector and obtain support from the CEOs in creating a data set with a profile of investors to be used as a reference for future opportunities.
For the coming year, Prof. Mkumbo highlighted the priorities in developing the investments especially in the agricultural sector, where some industries lack the necessary raw materials and remain largely unexploited areas. Other challenges the ministry will address according to him will focus in the housing and construction, manufacturing, as well as recreation and tourism.
The also featured policy reforms in the Work Act in collaboration with the Labour Ministry, particularly for expatriates requiring work permits and facing challenges with work permit quotas.
In support of the agenda presented, the CEOrt adhered to provide their assistance wherever required. On her part, Executive Director of the CEOrt, Ms. Santina Majengo-Benson said they stand steady to engage the private sector and the government to work as a team, including also reaching other stakeholders.
Commenting, CEOrt Chairman, Mr. Sanjay Rughani said: “This is our country, and we’ve got to make a difference together, and the way to make progress is to be able to listen to each other and continue to collaborate.”